Friday, 9 October 2015


There can be no doubting the success of The Great British Bake Off and the upsurge in popularity of home baking, steered by the popular BBC show. Now Halifax’s premier four-star hotel, Holdsworth House, is getting a slice of the action as they search for their own star baker.

As part of new restaurant and bar menu changes being implemented by Head Chef Martin Henley, Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant is searching for an enthusiastic part time baker to bring a new twist to its unique and very successful patisserie selection.

General manager Joseph Farrar, who returned to Holdsworth House in the summer of 2015 after spending three years at The Met Hotel, Leeds, said, “Desserts, pastries and delicious fresh bread play an important part of any menu and there’s clearly huge talent out there in the home baking world. We’re looking for somebody local with star quality that wishes to extend their range and show a larger audience just what they can do. Holdsworth House is incredibly popular for afternoon teas, but we’re now looking to deliver an even greater tantalising edge, with new home baked breads, pastries, ice creams, wedding desserts… whatever our star baker wants to create! The sky is the limit in our professional kitchens.

“We’re keeping our 2 AA Rosettes – we’ve worked hard for those for over 15 years, but we’re also responding to customer feedback by developing the new seasonal menu so that it has something to suit every palate and every pocket for every night of the week. Holdsworth House has long been considered the special place to eat and celebrate in Calderdale. Now, alongside exciting contemporary dishes, diners will find cosy comfort food and local specialities, which we hope will appeal to local and leisure guests. People shouldn’t save Holdsworth House just for special occasions; we want people to think of us as the house next door and pop in for lunch and supper too!”

Serving over 1500 afternoon teas and more than 3000 home baked bread rolls a year Holdsworth House runs a busy restaurant kitchen and fresh banqueting operation for weddings. Over £20,000 has already been invested in 2015 in the pro kitchens, which will offer the new star baker a friendly environment that will feel a step away from a home workspace. Head Chef Martin Henley heads up the award-winning kitchen brigade and believes he can offer a lot of support and advice for any amateur looking to turn professional and serve their creations to a bigger audience.

Henley (pictured left) says, “The role can be flexible; with around four hours per day, five days a week. Our busy kitchen is an exciting place to work and I’m really looking for someone who is a well-accomplished home baker who wants to show off his or her talents. Holdsworth House is one of a kind so we’re looking for one-of-a kind star quality!”

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be Halifax’s star baker at Holdsworth House get in touch with the hotel’s General Manager Joseph Farrar on 01422 240024 or email a resume of your skills to Successful applicants will be invited to the hotel kitchen to showcase some of their home baking skills.

Holdsworth House Hotel, Halifax, HX2 9TG, Tel: 01422 240024
Twitter: @HoldsworthHotel

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

20th anniversary celebration for first couple married at Holdsworth House

20 years after the first couple were married at Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant in Halifax, Mrs and Mrs Hall returned to celebrate their anniversary in style.  Here’s the lovely note they sent to the hotel after their 20th anniversary stay.

"Dear All at Holdsworth House, I'm writing to thank you so much for a wonderful stay last Sunday. My wife, Trish and I have held a lot of affection for Holdsworth House since we were married there 20 years ago. 

We are quite proud of being the first couple to be married there and we've even had a watercolour of the house on our wall since that day. 

After many years abroad we thought it would be lovely to stay there again but we didn't expect such great personal service and the champagne and the engraved bottle stopper were truly a wonderful surprise. Please thank all the staff and those responsible for making us feel very special  and leaving with more special memories of Holdsworth House. 
Kind Regards, Steve & Trish Hall”

Holdsworth House hosts around 125 weddings per year and is popular in all seasons. Despite bedrooms and services being refurbished and upgraded not much else has changed at the Jacobean manor, which prides itself on exemplary service, fresh banqueting and attention to detail.  

The four star hotel was recently shortlisted as Yorkshire’s Large Hotel of the Year in the prestigious White Rose Awards and is attending the glittering awards ceremony at the Leeds Arena in November.

Couples wishing to view the hotel for weddings should attend the free Open Day on Sunday 27th September 2015, 12noon - 4.00pm.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015



There's so much to see and do this August and September in Yorkshire so we've picked our top five experiences that will give you a taste of the county's culture, heritage and landscapes, all within easy reach of Holdsworth House.

Every Tuesday throughout August
At 11am and 2pm every Tuesday throughout August the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth (about 15-20 minutes drive away ) are offering free talks or guided walks covering a variety of topics connected to the Brontes and their works. The museum is open everyday and whenever you stay at Holdsworth House on our Bronte Break you'll get two tickets to the brilliant, eerie museum - the Brontes' home.

Or visit for the Bronte Festival of Women's Writing, 4th - 6th September with plenty of famous names, events and activities on offer.

Across rolling hills, along miles of countryside paths and meandering rivers and beneath architecturally sublime galleries you'll discover majestic, world-renowned art. Just a stone's throw from the M1 (40 minutes drive from Holdsworth House) is the Yorkshire Scultpure Park. Outdoor displays of contemporary and moden art include those by Yorkshire born Henry Moore, whilst current indoor artists include Robert Ryan's Listen to the World papercut and prints, Laura de Santillana & Alessandro Diaz de Santillana's glassware and Sir Anthony Caro's sculptures. Free entry to the exhibitions and displays, just pay for car parking. It's a full day out.

Sundays in August and September just got exciting. Every Sunday you can stay 'Chez Nous' enjoying all our home from home comforts that make a relaxing break perfect: two course home cooked dinner, a wonderfully comfortable sleep, full breakfast in bed and a lazy late Monday check out... It's time to put your feet up and rest.

On Sunday 13th September we're running another Knit and Natter event. So if knitting, crocheting or sewing is your thing then bring your project and join other like minded people for a full afternoon tea (and a cocktail!)

11 - 20 September 2015
This annual celebration of the heritage and arts of Saltaire, Bradford offers a plethora of arts and craft activities, food and drink stalls, musicians and bands, comedy and dance, film and theatre. The Saltaire Festival is a great event to experience and you'll discover the history and unique story of Salts Mill in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, built by Sir Titus Salt and now housing plenty of original David Hockney canvases - another brilliant gallery with FREE admission!

12th - 27th September
The South Peninnes is an area where Yorkshire and Lancashire collide. It has steep-sided valleys, heather-covered moorland, canals, rivers and packhorse trails and covers some of the most interesting towns nearby including Hebden Bridge, Haworth and Todmorden. You can come and take part in scores of events from Chi Walking or Guided Walks of Roman Forts to Night Navigation. Or bring your bike (safe storage available at Holdsworth House) and join a cycling event - like the Tour de France climb famously named Up the Buttress! There are tons of outdoor activities planned - so stay for a few nights to experience the best Yorkshire has to offer. Remember dogs are welcome at Holdsworth House too! Download the Walk & Ride Festival brochure

You can book a room at Holdsworth House on 01422 240024 for any of the events listed above, subject to availability.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

From Spinning Wool to Spinning Tales – Calderdale reinvents itself as a hotbed for film and TV production

Calderdale in Yorkshire has been well known as the centre of wool manufacture and spinning mills, since the 15th century with high numbers of water-powered mills meandering along the valleys of the Calder River. In the 19th century the area took a central role in the Industrial Revolution with steam powered mills expanding rapidly into its easily accessible villages. So it comes as no surprise that the entrepreneurial textile towns in West Yorkshire have been able to reinvent themselves in recent years as a pretty gritty backdrop for some of TV’s most attention grabbing fictional shows.

Much of this new found fame is thanks to Yorkshire-born writer Sally Wainwright whose affiliation with Halifax and the Calderdale towns she grew up amongst has seen their meteoric rise in popularity. Wainwright epitomises the creative, straight-talking, fun and inventive nature of Yorkshire folk, which comes through in spades in her work.

Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley are two shows by Sally Wainwright that have been realised by Manchester-based Red Production Company.  It has been well documented that much of series one of romantic comedy drama Last Tango in Halifax was actually filmed in Lancashire and that Wainwright requested more scenes of series two to be filmed in Halifax town, to improve its authenticity.

As well as filming in Halifax’s precinct areas and local cafes, the production team chose Jacobean manor Holdsworth House, three miles from Halifax town centre, as the setting for several Last Tango escapades, including the finale scene when lead characters Alan and Celia tied the knot.

Wainwright’s powerful storytelling went on to astound viewers in Happy Valley. Set in Hebden Bridge in Calderdale, the increasingly dramatic twists and turns of the spine-tingling plot were nail biting and the script undoubtedly helped bag another BAFTA and the 2015 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards and a British Screenwriter’s Award.

With some of Wainwright’s feats - including Scott and Bailey and Coronation Street - surely confirming her as one of Britain’s best screenwriters, her work, along with the efforts of regional agency Screen Yorkshire and Creative England, has placed Calderdale as one of the most popular places for film companies to use in the North.  Kindle Entertainment recently chose Halifax as the production base for creating Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler’s children’s TV show Hank Zipzer. Interestingly, production firms cite the availability of excellent local crew, good motorway and airport networks and quality hotel accessibility as several reasons for them choosing Calderdale.

Creating series two of Happy Valley has brought Sally Wainwright back to Calderdale recently and you can see her in ‘Conversation with British actors George Costigan and Judy Holt’ at the Square Chapel in Halifax on Wednesday 30th September 2015. The event is sold out but you can win two tickets and overnight stay with breakfast and pre-theatre dinner for two courtesy of four star hotel Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant in Halifax (shortlisted for Large Hotel of the Year at the Welcome to Yorkshire awards). Plus you’ll get a box set of Last Tango in Halifax courtesy of Square Chapel.

For full terms and conditions see

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Shortlisted for Large Hotel of the Year

It's not every day that the postman delivers a letter you're nervous to open. Today we received one stamped 'Welcome to Yorkshire' so we opened it with trepidation. Inside we read that Holdsworth House has been shortlisted as Large Hotel of the Year in the 2015 regional awards, run by Welcome to Yorkshire.

Perhaps we should have basked in our confidence. Perhaps we should never have doubted that we'd make the final. But these are the thoughts of complacent fools. As soon as we think we're that good, we stop trying as hard. The truth is that being recognised as one of God's Own Country's best hotels is just rewards for the efforts that the team delivers every day. So we'll tuck the commendation under our belts with thanks and continue to care for every guest the best we can.

(Well done team.)